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MASSILLON, Ohio (WJW) — The superintendent of the Indian River Juvenile Correctional Facility and the facility’s gang intervention specialist have both been fired following an internal state investigation.
Superintendent James Darnell has been terminated. The investigation found he was “negligent” in supervising administrators as well as his own duties and in the use of his state cell phone, according to a news release from the Ohio Department of Youth Services.
Charlie Ford will continue as the facility’s acting superintendent, according to the release.
The facility’s deputy superintendent, Charles Wilson, was also found to be similarly negligent. His unclassified position as revoked and he “returned to his last classified position,” according to the release.
Shawn Anders, the facility’s gang intervention specialist, was also fired for misusing state equipment and creating “an unsafe condition for staff and youth,” according to the release.
All three have been on administrative leave since Sept. 23, three days before the investigation began, according to the release.
The investigation focused on one particular unit of the facility, where some of the juveniles incarcerated were involved in an Oct. 22 “contained barricade” incident. Investigators found that Indian River staff and managers didn’t give the juveniles in that unit the proper programming or recreation needs, according to the release.
Read the full investigative report below:
On Oct. 22, a dozen youths barricaded themselves inside the facility, prompting a large police response that evening, FOX 8 News reported. In another location in the facility, a Department of Youth Services worker was attacked and injured by a juvenile.
“Director [Amy] Ast and her team have implemented several improvements at Indian River and across DYS since last fall,” reads the release. “This includes improvements that directly impact staff with respect to training, personal safety, hiring and retention, and security within the facility. They are also continuing to address the safety, treatment, and programming for youth.”
Supervisors in the facility began using pepper spray in late December, FOX 8 News reported. Corrections officers were also expected to receive body-worn cameras.